File a Complaint About an MLM with the FTC and Your Local State Government
The Federal Trade Commission has a website in which citizens can submit reports of wrong-doing by business and individuals. The FTC states that individual consumer complaints will not be resolved. However, if enough people complain about a company, the information they provide may lead to investigations and prosecutions. Local state governments also have departments for trade and consumer protection at which people can file complaints.
Over the years, this blog has seen a community form among people concerned about the business practices of several companies run by former Amway and MonaVie distributor, Orrin Woodward. His colleagues, which include Chris Brady, Tim Marks, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, Bill Lewis, and Dan Hawkins, have operated under several company names, include Team of Destiny, TEAM, LIFE Training, and LIFE. Those participating on this site believe Orrin and company have been deceptive about the business opportunity and may have engaged in illegal business practices.
In recent months, we’ve seen the FTC shut down two companies, Zeek Rewards and Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, which the government accused of being ponzi and pyramid schemes. If former members of TEAM/LIFE believe they have a case that Orrin Woodward’s LIFE/TEAM/LIFE Training business is also operating an illegal pyramid, they should file a complaint with the FTC as soon as possible.
The FTC’s Complaint Assistant is multi-step process. I would recommend standardizing on the following information if you want to file a complaint regarding The LIFE Business (and LIFE Training) by Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, and others. This is because there have changed their company names so many times over the past two decades.
- Start by visiting the FTC Complaint Assistant website.
- In the contact information, provide as much (or as little information) about yourself as necessary. Obviously, the more information you provide about yourself, the better. If the FTC does do an investigation, you may be contacted based on the contact info you post here.
- For the type of complaint, choose Other.
- In the dropdown for “what kind of company are you complaining about,” choose Business Opportunities and Employment Offers.
- In the next dropdown, choose, Multi-Level Marketing/Pyramid Schemes.
- Choose Yes for the question, “Do you know the name of the company/individual involved in your complaint, or do you have any other information about them?”
- In the section “Tell Us About The Company”, enter the following information about The LIFE Business
Company Name: LIFE
Company Address: 4072 Market Place
Zip Code:: 48507
Company Phone Number: 810-600-3432
Company Email Address: email@example.com
Company Website: http://www.the-life-business.com/
- Click “Add Another Company” to provide information about LIFE Training (formerly TEAM)
Company Name: TEAM (LIFE Training)
Company Address: 4072 Market Place
Zip Code:: 48507
Company Phone Number:
Company Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Company Website: http://the-team.biz
- In the next section, enter details about how much money you spent in TEAM/LIFE, who contacted you, and when you were contacted
- In Step 5, you can provide additional information about your complaint (up to 3500 characters, which is a lot). I would be detailed, yet brief, in this section. Try not to go off onto tangents; I would recommend keeping emotion out of your statement. Stick to the facts of the matter here. No fluff.
- In the final Step 6, you can review your complaint before submitting to the FTC.
Filing with Your Local State Government
In addition to the FTC, local state governments also have their own departments of trade and consumer protection. On these websites, concerned individuals can file complaints about businesses.
- Alabama: http://www.ago.state.al.us/Page-Consumer-Protection
- Alaska: http://www.law.alaska.gov/department/civil/consumer/cp_complaint.html
- Arizona: https://www.azag.gov/consumer
- Arkansas: http://www.ag.arkansas.gov/consumers_consumer_complaints.html
- California: http://www.dca.ca.gov/online_services/complaints/ccru.shtml
- Colorado: https://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/departments/consumer_protection/file_consumer_complaint/consumer_complaint_form
- Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/dcp/cwp/view.asp?q=274414
- Delaware: http://attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/consumers/protection/complaint.shtml
- District of Columbia: http://government.dc.gov/DC/Government/Data+&+Transparency/Consumer+Protection
- Florida: http://www.800helpfla.com/complnt.html
- Georgia: http://consumer.georgia.gov/consumer-services/filing-a-complaint
- Hawaii: http://hawaii.gov/dcca/ocp/consumer_complaint
- Idaho: http://www.ag.idaho.gov/consumerProtection/forms/ComplaintFormInformation.html
- Illinois: http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/index.html
- Indiana: http://www.indianaconsumer.com/filecomplaint.asp
- Iowa: http://www.state.ia.us/government/ag/file_complaint/index.html
- Kansas: http://ag.ks.gov/contact-us/file-a-complaint
- Kentucky: http://ag.ky.gov/civil/consumerprotection/complaints/Pages/default.aspx
- Maine: http://www.maine.gov/ag/consumer/complaints/index.shtml
- Maryland: http://www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/complaint.htm
- Massachusetts: http://www.mass.gov/ago/consumer-resources/consumer-assistance/consumer-complaint.html
- Michigan: https://secure.ag.state.mi.us/complaints/consumer.aspx
- Genessee County, Michigan (where TEAM/LIFE is based): Sheriff’s Office of Geneseee County (complaint form)
- Minnesota: http://www.ag.state.mn.us/Consumer/Complaint.asp
- Mississippi: http://agjimhood.com/index.php/sections/consumer/complaints
- Missouri: http://ago.mo.gov/consumercomplaint.htm
- Montana: https://doj.mt.gov/consumer/
- Nebraska: http://www.ago.ne.gov/consumer_protection
- Nevada: http://ag.state.nv.us/org/bcp/bcp.html
- New Hampshire: http://doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints/index.htm
- New Jersey: http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/ocp/ocpform.htm
- New Mexico: http://www.nmag.gov/the_office/Communications-Division/consumer-protection
- New York: https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/
- North Carolina: http://www.ncdoj.gov/consumer.aspx
- North Dakota: http://www.ag.nd.gov/CPAT/CPAT.htm
- Ohio: http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Forms
- Oklahoma: http://www.oag.state.ok.us/oagweb.nsf/ccomp.html
- Oregon: https://justice.oregon.gov/forms/consumer_complaint.asp
- Pennsylvania: http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/complaintforms/bcp_form.aspx
- Rhode Island: http://www.riag.ri.gov/civil/consumer/
- South Carolina: http://www.consumer.sc.gov/consumer/ComplaintInstructions/Pages/default.aspx
- South Dakota: http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/complaints.aspx?id=451
- Tennessee: http://tn.gov/consumer/complaint.shtml
- Texas: https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/complain.shtml
- Utah: http://consumerprotection.utah.gov/complaints/index.html
- Vermont: http://www.atg.state.vt.us/issues/consumer-protection/documents-and-resources/business-to-business-fraud.php
- Virginia: http://www.oag.state.va.us/Consumer%20Protection/Where_to_File.html
- Washington: http://www.atg.wa.gov/fileacomplaint.aspx#.USP3mlojpvY
- West Virginia: http://www.wv.gov/residents/Pages/ConsumerProtection.aspx
- Wisconsin: http://datcpservices.wisconsin.gov/consumercomplaints/index.jsp
- Wyoming: http://attorneygeneral.state.wy.us/consumer.htm
Here’s an unscientific poll asking readers if they’ve filed a complaint with the FTC about LIFE. In the interest of being fair, I’ve even added a response for those who believe in the LIFE business and do not think a complaint should be filed with the government. Tracking is done via cookies and IP addresses, and the cookie will expire after one week (for instance, so you can change your vote if you voted “Not yet, but I will.”).
[Editor’s note: If the poll doesn’t appear above, click here.]